This exciting three-day-a-week course is ideal for those who are returning to education.

Many Access to Higher Education students win places on the UK’s most competitive degree courses including those at Leeds Arts University.

This course is for you whether you’re just starting out or looking for a new direction in life, and if you’re serious about a professional career in art and design.

We offer a supportive atmosphere in which to develop your skills and interests, and to build your confidence. Successfully completing the course will enable you to apply for art and design degree courses here or at any other higher education institution.

We’ll help you with your UCAS application and we offer lots of individual guidance as to which course and institution are right for you, plus support in putting together a strong portfolio of work as part of your application.

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course details

What You'll Study

The course includes critical thinking and creative skills development, practice based projects, portfolio-building, self-directed briefs, live briefs (competitions and community projects) and contextual studies in art and design (1960s onwards). You will also have the opportunity to explore a range of specialist art and design workshops including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and digital design. Each year we also organise a programme of educational visits to galleries, museums and sculpture parks.

Our Ideal Students

We welcome students who are returning to education, who are wishing to make a start with their career in the arts as well as those looking for a career change. Students should have some art and design experience but we welcome people from a range of backgrounds.

Entry Requirements

You will be asked to present some examples of your creative work at interview which demonstrates your skills. Applicants for this course are usually over the age of 19, however if you are 18 or under you must have already achieved GCSE Maths and English at grade 4/grade C. 

For full entry requirements please visit:

Where You'll Study

You’ll be based at the University’s Vernon Street site, with access to excellent facilities according to curriculum needs.

Where Next?

The majority of our students progress to degree or postgraduate level study, achieving places on degree courses of their choice, including those at Leeds Arts University. Some students elect to go directly into employment in the creative industries.


The Access to HE Diploma at Leeds Arts University is classed as further education and because of this students are not eligible to apply for the maintenance loan through Student Finance England. Those aged 19 and over, are eligible to apply for the Advanced Learner Loan to help pay for their tuition. For further information, see our Tuition Fees page here.

Open Days

Click here to find out more about our open days. 

1 Year
Term Starts
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Validated By

Celebrating 100 years since Henry Moore started studying sculpture in Leeds

Leeds Arts University and Henry Moore Institute are marking 100 years since Yorkshire’s own Henry Moore started studying sculpture at the University, then known as Leeds School of Art. …

Head of Research to celebrate the launch of her latest publication

Dr. Samantha Broadhead, Head of Research at Leeds Arts University, is celebrating the publication of her latest book Perspectives on Access: Practice and Research. …

Latest news

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Miranda Melbourne awarded Anthony Earnshaw Bursary 2020

The Anthony Earnshaw Bursary 2020 has been awarded to Miranda Melbourne, Access to HE Diploma student, who received the prize on the strength of their Drawing a Day project. …

Leeds Arts University wins student choice award for Best University Facilities!

Leeds Arts University was announced as the winner of the Whatuni Student Choice Award for Best Facilities, taking the prize for the third time in six years. …

Student success at British Art Medal Competition

Leeds Arts University BA (Hons) Fine Art student Jonathan Kelly has won Grand First Prize in the prestigious British Art Medal Society’s Student Medal Project 2020. Fellow student Susan Daubney also received an award. …

Leeds Arts University is shortlisted for University of the Year

Leeds Arts University has been shortlisted in four categories at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, including the prestigious University of the Year. …

"This course is for you if you're just starting out or looking for a new direction, and if you're serious about a career in art and design."
Adam Stone
Access to HE Diploma (Art & Design)